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FALL 2021
 Global Media Monitoring Project Results
  By Barb Summers, Associate Secretary, PCC Communications
The Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP), the World Association for Christian Communication’s flagship activity, is the largest and longest- running research project on gender in the world’s news media. Every five years since 1995, GMMP research has taken the pulse of selected indi- cators of gender in news media, in- cluding women’s presence in relation to men, gender bias and stereotypes in news stories and other content. The results of the sixth and largest study on the portrayal and represen- tation of women in the world’s news media were released online on July 14, 2021.
The latest GMMP report includes data from 116 countries and covers 30,172 stories published in news- papers, broadcast on radio and tel- evision, and disseminated on news websites and via news media tweets. It presents a gender analysis on what, if anything, has changed in the presence, representation and voice of the subjects and sources featured in the news since the first GMMP was conducted in 1995.
The repor t includes data and analy- sis on gender representation in Covid- related news stories, and for the first time, the roles of Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities and racialized groups in the news.
Sarah Macharia, Coordinator of the Global Media Monitoring Project, said that the results “reveal baby steps to- wards gender equality in the people in the news, especially in radio and television newscasts. Between 1995 to 2020, the largest strides towards parity have been in radio news. Among legacy media, television has traded places with newspapers as the medium in which women appear most. What is startling about the GMMP numbers overall in the period since 1995 is just how slow the pace
of change towards parity has re- mained. Considering that women are half the population and the numbers of those participating in the public space have increased considerably, it is clear that the news media still have a long way to go to reflect reality.”
Philip Lee, General Secretary of the World Association for Christian Communication, underscores media literacy at educational settings: “The GMMP demonstrates that change is possible, even when it happens too slowly. But we must remember to move beyond reshaping the policies of news outlets and to educate young children and adults in how to see what lies behind the news and how dis- criminatory attitudes are embedded. Media literacy/education at the level of elementary and secondary schools and on through university will change perceptions and contribute to greater gender justice in society.”
Glass ceilings appear to be setting in on cer tain impor tant news media gen- der equality indicators, while others are edging upwards. While the past five years have seen small, incremen- tal changes towards parity in subjects and sources, par ticularly in broadcast news, the pace of change remains glacial. However, there has been sig- nificant progress towards gender bal- ance in news reporting; the role of women as television news repor ters is more prominent now than ever, with 48% of global televised news being repor ted by women.
Women as Subjects and Reporters in Canadian News Media from 1995 to 2020 There has been an increase, albeit in- termittently, in the presence of women as news subjects in traditional media in Canada from 1995 to 2020, from 22% to 32%. Online, such as on Twit- ter, there has been a steady increase in women as the subjects of news items, from 26% to 38% from 2010 to 2020. Print news stories repor ted by women show a fairly steady increase in 2015 at 42% but dropped to 37% in 2020. The percentage of women sub- jects who appear as exper t sources was reported at 35% in 2020, a sig- nificant increase.
Gender in News Media Coverage of COVID-19
Even during ordinary times, inequali- ties due to gender, age, race, ethnic- ity, disability, sexuality and other so- cial markers exist. Among those who lost their jobs in the low-income and wage-earning categories, women are the most adversely impacted. Women form the majority among essential workers, and yet they have to take care of their children at home and their schooling. The rate of domestic vio- lence across the spectrum has risen significantly during the pandemic.
“What the COVID-19 crisis has un- veiled is the already existing systemic disparities that impact women and
people of colour,” said Dr. Glory Dhar- maraj, U.S. Coordinator and President of WACC-North America. “GMMP 2020 has exposed the gap in the pres- ence of female experts in the media.” As the graph shows, in COVID-19-re- lated stories, in politics and govern- ment, globally 22% of women subjects appear as experts. In Canada, the per- centage of female experts in politics and government is a mere 17%.
History and Background
The GMMP is coordinated by the World Association for Christian Communicators (WACC), a global, non-governmental organization that promotes communication rights for social justice. The GMMP is a collabo- rative effor t of various women’s rights organizations, grassroots groups, media associations, faith-based/inter- faith organizations, university students and researchers around the world. UN Women, the lead United Nations en- tity on gender equality, has supported GMMP since 2010.
To learn more about the Global Media Monitoring Project and the results from the latest report, visit
“Canada is proud to be a pioneering participant in the GMMP. Even with global crises in the economy, health, politics and the environment these past 25 years, we have seen how women figure in the news. We are glad to have contributed once again to this significant, ground-breaking research with the hope that women from across the globe will be granted the attention and respect that we all deserve.”
—Veronica Silva Cus National Coordinator, Canada
 “GMMP 2020 picks up a major element of discrimination, telling us that women and women’s voices are shockingly absent from global news coverage. Reporting is not only subject to substantial male bias—it is perpetuating it. This has to be turned around. The news industry must adopt codes of conduct that define and actively redress gender discrimination and stereotyping, starting with an increase in women’s leadership within the media industry.” —Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director
 Experts in COVID-19-Related News, % Women
Politics & Economy Science Social & Legal Government & Health

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